South African opposition says TV should show Marikana film

By Editorial Board - 26 November 2015 at 11:26 am


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s public broadcaster should show an Emmy-winning documentary about the South African police killing of 34 striking miners three years ago, government critics said.

The film, “Miners Shot Down,” took the International Emmy in the documentary category this week for its account of the Aug. 16, 2012 shootings near Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party, which has accused state broadcaster SABC of being a mouthpiece for the ruling African National Congress party, called for the documentary to be broadcast immediately.

“Until those responsible are held to account, and meaningful compensation is made by government, the victims will continue to suffer without closure,” the Democratic Alliance said in a statement Tuesday.

A South African non-governmental organization championing free speech and more government transparency, Right2Know, also said South African television channels should show the Marikana documentary so that South Africans can see “what exactly happened on that fateful day.”

SABC told filmmaker Rehad Desai last year that it was willing to discuss possibly screening the documentary after the completion of a government-backed inquiry into the killings, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement Wednesday. He said the opposition party had wrongly insinuated that the SABC “has denied the public the opportunity to see the documentary.”

In June, President Jacob Zuma released the findings of the government-backed inquiry, which included criticism of police conduct. South Africa’s police commissioner was later suspended.

Miners who were injured and arrested at the time are suing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, alleging he was responsible also for the shootings of the Lonmin platinum mine workers near Marikana. Ramaphosa has denied wrongdoing. Families of the killed miners have filed civil claims against the government too.

The African National Congress has praised “Miners Shot Down,” saying it helps tell South Africa’s story “with all its trials and tribulations.”


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Editorial Board

Editorial Board

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